Auto Tech

Mitsubishi launching app for usage-based car insurance discounts

The new Road Assist+ app could get you a discount on your car insurance.

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Drive carefully and the Road Assist+ app could net you an insurance discount.

Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi is the latest automaker to experiment with ways for owners of its cars to receive a discount on their insurance policies. So far only one insurance company is on board, but Mitsubishi hopes that will grow.

The insurance-tracking system works with a new version of Mitsubishi's smartphone telematics app called Road Assist+. It keeps track of how, when and where owners drive their cars, using technology from LexisNexis Risk Solutions. If owners allow it, the data can then be transmitted to the Mitsubishi owner's insurance company for a potential discount. State Auto Insurance Companies is the first and only insurer signed up with the plan.

Because Mitsubishi's tracking system is a smartphone app, it's independent of vehicle hardware. It doesn't require an owner to install an OBD-II device, for instance, like Progressive's Snapshot, or that they own a modern vehicle with built-in connected-car features. Specifically, Mitsubishi will offer the usage-based insurance tracking for any new car still within its five-year warranty period. A Mitsubishi spokesperson said that the information collected will include GPS and accelerometer data from the smartphone on which the app is installed.

It's not just a discount on insurance premiums, however. Mitsubishi will also offer a reward system that lets owners "level up" and receive additional perks. A Mitsubishi spokesperson said that those rewards could include a $10 discount on oil changes or a 10-percent discount on a car accessory. By the fourth quarter of this year, Mitsubishi also hopes to expand the rewards program to include third-party "digital rewards," though no specifics on those perks have been confirmed just yet.

Mitsubishi Road Assist+ is available now in the Apple App Store and will be made available for Android devices soon. Other companies experimenting with usage-based car insurance systems include Hyundai, which partnered with Verisk to track driver behavior through the cars' built-in Blue Link telematics systems.